Sunday, June 17, 2007

Is Wallace the Right Man?

Memphis is reportedly on the verge of hiring their new GM according to the Boston Globe. Ron Tillery wrote an article stating that a pool of NBA executives believe this to be true as well.

Why? Because Wallace and West are friends, both from West Virginia and West believes he can exert some control over the front office while technically in retirement. That would be similiar to the Mitch Kupchak hire in LA. Kupchak was supposed to be West's hand picked successor as well.

So is it a good thing that Wallace, hand picked by the legend himself, is going to move to Memphis? His track record as a GM is rather spotty. Wallace made 13 trades in 5 seasons as the GM of the Boston Celtics but his best move was picking Paul Pierce in the draft at #10 according to Sounds great doesn't it but the players taken immediately ahead of Pierce were Dirk Nowitski, Larry Hughes, Jason Williams and Vince Carter. Bonzi Wells went immediately after Pierce. So Wallace's best move was thinking U of Kansas player Paul Pierce was better than Bonzi Wells from Ball St. Really went out on a limb to find that sleeper didn't he. And after all, getting a great player at #10 is more a statement of the mistakes other GM's drafting a head of him made than a statement of the intelligence of Wallace isn't it?

This is also the man who drafted Jerome Moiso with the 11th overall pick in the 2000 draft and traded two second round picks for Josip Sesar. He missed out on a few players of note from that draft like Etan Thomas (12th), Hedo Turkoglu (16th), Desmond Mason (17th), Quentin Richardson (18th), Jamaal Magliore (19th), Speedy Claxton (20th), Mo Peterson (21st), DeShawn Stevenson (23rd), Primoz Brezac (27th) and of course Jake Tsakaldis (25th). Even Big Jake had a better career than Jerome Moiso! Those 2 second round picks meant he didn't get Michael Redd, Marco Jaric, Jake Vsokuhl, Eddie House, Eduardo Najera, Jason Hart or Brian Cardinal.

But that is understandable since drafting is more art than science right?

He served faithfully under Rick Pittino and Danny Ainge. Two leaders with no previous experience running a team. Maybe that messed him up. Wallace has had experience scouting college players. That would be very helpful right now with the most important draft of the year taking place June 28th. Of course it is questionable just how effective his input will be since that is only 11 days away and he hasn't even been hired yet.

The pros of Wallace are that he has more experience scouting college players than any other GM, he has a good relationship with West so he has a mentor to help advice him and he has experience in Boston. The negatives are the he worked for Rick Pittino and Danny Ainge, that he didn't really translate all that scouting experience into excellent picks when he was solely responsible for the Celtics draft and the fans aren't really excited by his hire. Unlike the Iavaroni hire this one is being looked at with dread not excitement.

So is he the right man or does he just have the right connections?